Views from the bottom of The Hill: Should Every Team be Bowl Eligible?

WKU quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome (1), breaks loose with the ball during the WKU home opener  on Sept. 19, 2020. 

Kaden Gaylord

With the announcement of the proposal to allow all teams that are playing college football this season to be bowl eligible, it begs the question if this is a smart move to make.

The answer is yes and no. I realize that’s not a straightforward answer, but it really can go into multiple directions, good and bad.

On the good side, giving everyone a chance will drive up the competition aspect of games that may seem pointless. As seasons progress, teams can obviously tell if they will make it to bowl eligibility or not, and that can affect the effort they put into games.

Knowing they have a chance to make a bowl game, no matter how bad the team is doing, can drive up their spirit and competitiveness to become better and still game plan for a full season.

Giving teams who don’t usually make bowl games a chance to play in the postseason can lead those teams to the exposure that they normally wouldn’t get. Especially during the year that is 2020, fans want to soak up as much sports as possible.

Sponsors of these bowl games do not want to lose money by any means. Let a team with a loyal fan base or heavy following that isn’t that good play in a bowl game and they will still have big numbers. The NCAA can’t afford to lose money especially after the cancellation of March Madness.

Now on the negative side, a lot of people will ask, “who wants to watch terrible teams?” Which is a valid question. Who will want to watch Rutgers? Or even worse, Tennessee? We all know if it isn’t in the national media attention it won’t get much love or TV viewing from fans.

And we can’t forget the coaches. I would say 99% of coaches have a clause in their contracts that say if they get to a bowl game they will receive a bonus. If this decision goes through it’s a payday for everybody, except for the players of course. Yawn.

It keeps certain coaches off the chopping block especially if they have a bad season but win a bowl game anyways.

The Big 10, Pac-12, Mountain West and Mid Atlantic Conference recently announced that they would be returning to play this season at some point. That makes 127 out of 130 FBS football teams that will be playing this fall.

If all teams become bowl eligible, wouldn’t that cause more power five to get leadway than a deserving group of five team? This will make college football more political than it’s ever been.

We all know the SEC is the biggest conference with the biggest fan base in the nation. When deciding between teams who do you think will get the nod to play? South Carolina or Rice?

But the pending decision could work in WKU’s favor if the season doesn’t turn out like we expect. Don’t get me wrong, I believe the Hilltoppers will turn it around and win more than the six games usually needed for bowl eligibility.

But if it doesn’t, WKU has been in the national media attention for multiple years and has a good enough history to have an edge on many other teams.

WKU fans travel as well, which is a huge point in deciding where teams play. Look at last year and how the bowl game against Western Michigan ended.

One of the most dramatic bowl games of the year while Lucky Jackson set a school record for catches with 17 and 148 yards receiving.

Whichever way you swing on the impending decision, it will cause rifts in the college football world for years to come. While it could lead to exciting, historical matchups, it could also give us terrible, boring games.

Men’s basketball beat reporter and sports columnist Kaden Gaylord can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Kaden on Twitter at @_KLG3.